Emily VanSchmus | 

How to Get Free Starbucks on Your Birthday

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One of the best perks of Starbucks’ rewards program is the free birthday drink. As long as you have the Starbucks app, you can order any drink you want — completely free. And with Starbucks drink prices rising, you definitely want to take advantage of free coffee at Starbucks when you can. 

Of course, there are a few restrictions — but not as many as you might think. We’re breaking down exactly what you can get with your Starbucks birthday reward, and how to get the most value out of the offer.

You can only take advantage of this perk once a year, so it’s also worth taking note of all the current Starbucks offers and Starbucks deals you can use right now. 

For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, text HACKS to 57299, and be sure to download the Krazy Coupon Lady app.

Starbucks Birthday Rewards: What You Can Get for Free 

You can use your Starbucks birthday reward to get practically any drink for free. Yes, that includes a Venti Sweet Cream Cold Brew or an enormous Mocha Frappuccino with 4 extra shots. One of the only exceptions is that your drink order can’t exceed $20, so there is eventually a limit (for reference, each extra shot costs $1.25), but you can get more out of the reward than your usual order. 

Of course, there’s no sense in ordering a giant drink you won’t finish, so it’s also smart to consider how to get the most value out of your reward. For example, if you normally grab a Grande cold brew on your way to work, use your birthday reward to order the largest Starbucks cup size, a Trenta, split it into three servings, and stick it in the fridge to enjoy throughout the rest of the week

Starbucks Free Birthday Reward Options

  • One handcrafted drink (any size) 

  • Single food item, such as a breakfast sandwich or pastry

  • One bottled beverage 

How to Claim your Starbucks Birthday Reward


You don’t have to do anything special to get the free birthday drink, as long as you have the Starbucks Rewards app. The app is the key to accessing your birthday reward (and all other Starbucks rewards), so if you don’t already have it, it’s time to sign up. More on how to do that in a minute.

If you have registered and used the Starbucks app before, your birthday drink will automatically appear in the rewards section of the app on your birthday, and it’ll stay there until midnight. You can use the reward to order ahead, or have the barista scan the bar code in-store or at the drive-thru. 

Steps to Redeem your Birthday Reward at Starbucks

Here’s how to redeem your reward offer in the Starbucks app: 

  1. Open the Starbucks Rewards app 

  2. Click the ‘Offers’ tab in the bottom right corner 

  3. Your birthday offer will appear at the top; click on it 

  4. The app will prompt you to either order ahead, or give you a barcode for your barista to scan at the register or drive-thru

  5. As long as the drink or food item you order is under $20, you will not be asked for payment 

Starbucks Birthday Reward: The Rules

If you’re not a frequent Starbucks user, you will have to take a few extra steps to receive the free drink offer. To qualify for the birthday reward, you need to join Starbucks Rewards at least seven days before your birthday, and be sure to add your birth date to your account information.

You also have to make at least one star-earning purchase before your birthday. (That basically just means you have to make a purchase using the Starbucks Rewards app once you download it, but there’s no minimum purchase amount.) 

When Does the Starbucks Birthday Offer Expire?

Starbucks has changed their rules about when you can use the reward. You used to have a whole week to redeem your birthday treat, but as of 2024, you can only use the reward on your actual birthday.

The reward will appear in your Starbucks app only on the birth date you entered in the account information, and you will have until midnight to use it. (It’s worth noting that most Starbucks locations close well before midnight, so double check your local hours.) 

What Are the Starbucks Birthday Offer Restrictions?

The Starbucks birthday reward is pretty generous, and while there are a few restrictions, it’s a pretty great deal. Most people use the birthday offer for an upgraded version of their favorite drink, but as we’ve mentioned, your drink order can’t exceed $20. Aside from that, these are the only other restrictions Starbucks lists.

The Starbucks Birthday Offer cannot be used on:

  • Multi-serve food or beverage items (like a full tray of Banana Nut loaves, or a Coffee Traveler box meant to serve multiple people) 

  • Beverages that contain alcohol 

  • Merchandise (like reusable cups) 

  • Packaged coffee 

  • Anything at Starbucks Roastery or Princi locations 

How to Maximize your Starbucks Birthday Reward

To get the most out of your reward, we recommend ordering a drink rather than bottled beverage or food item. Think about it this way: You essentially have $20 to spend on one single item. If you use the reward on a cake pop, you’ll only be using $2.50 of the $20 limit. Even a bottled Organic Fresh Defense fruit smoothie only uses up $5.41 of your spending limit. 

However, drink prices at Starbucks are typically already higher than food items or bottled beverages, as long as you get something other than plain coffee or tea. And since there are no size restrictions on drinks, you can upgrade to a 30-ounce Trenta, unlike food items which only come in one size. (Some drinks, like blended Frappuccinos and specialty lattes, are only available up to a Venti size — though that’s still a great deal.)

Tips to get the Best Value out of your Starbucks Birthday Drink


Your free birthday drink is a great opportunity to try new syrup or cold foam flavors, since adding these can add up quickly. 

Let’s do some fast math: A Venti Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino is normally $6.93. If you add 2 espresso shots and 2 pumps of Cinnamon Caramel Syrup, you’re looking at $10.97. That’s an almost- $11 drink completely free. (And a way better deal than a free cake pop.) 

If you’re more of a fruity Refresher person, consider a Trenta Strawberry Acai Lemonade Refresher, which is normally $6.72. You probably don’t want to add espresso shots to this, but you can add teas, sweeteners, juices, and fruit mixers. By adding 3 pumps of Sugar Free Vanilla and coconut milk, your regular-priced order would be $8.33. 

It’s also worth reiterating that the free birthday drink is only a good deal if you’ll actually enjoy it. If what you’d really love on your birthday is a plain grande latte, don’t feel like you have to concoct an expensive beverage just to take advantage of the deal. 

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